Building Literacy with Games like Minecraft

Building Literacy with Games like Minecraft

​It's easy to make a case for Minecraft as a teaching tool for science and math, but how can it help with English? What can a game about virtual building blocks do for reading and writing skills? According to recent studies, apparently quite a lot! Minecraft is surrounded by a "culture of literacy" that makes complex, jargony walkthroughs as engaging as the gameplay itself. "Games, it seems, can motivate kids to read—and to read way above their level," writes Wired reporter Clive Thompson.

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A Guide to Comics Kids Love to Read

A Guide to Comics Kids Love to Read

The best way to get a reluctant reader to read is with a book they'll actually like. And the thing about comics is kids really like them. A winning combo of words and pictures just makes sense in fostering literacy for visual learners. By stocking the library with a range of options—anything from classics like Calvin and Hobbes to contemporary favorites like Phoebe and Her Unicorn—students will be on track to a lifelong love of reading. For a complete guide on comics and graphic novels that are up for the task, check out BookRiot!

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17 Children's Books About Extraordinary Women

17 Children's Books About Extraordinary Women

As we close out March and Women's History Month, it's the perfect time to stock up on books celebrating women throughout the year. From timeless icon Frida Kahlo to contemporary trailblazer Malala Yousafzai, there's no shortage of pioneers with stories to tell. While countless women have gone down in history for all their accomplishments, you don't need a textbook to read about them. HuffPost has put together a list of 17 children's books to inspire the next generation of thinkers and doers.

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Google Doodles Celebrate Women Everywhere

Google Doodles Celebrate Women Everywhere

​March is Women's History Month! While Google Doodles celebrate amazing women throughout the year, on March 8th (International Women's Day), they brought together a diverse group of 12 female artists to tell their unique stories in one-panel illustrations.

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Creative Writing for Kids: A Resource Masterpost

Creative Writing for Kids: A Resource Masterpost

Kids are natural storytellers. Just ask one about their day, and watch as they spin bus rides and school lunches into amazing adventures. While kids are always making up stories, most aren’t spending enough time writing them down. Creative writing is a great way to put vocabulary into practice, and it’s also a space for self-expression and discovery. At home or at school, help your students’ imaginations run wild with these quick tips for kids’ creative writing.

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A Parent's Guide to Fanfiction

A Parent's Guide to Fanfiction

Fanfiction—any fan-made expansion or exploration of a published work of fiction—is a phenomenon. Of course, kids making up their own stories is nothing new, but in the digital age, publishing those stories online opens up a world-wide web of possibilities, good and bad. With this guide, parents and educators can encourage kids to share safely and keep the creativity flowing.

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Breaking Down Breakerspaces

Breaking Down Breakerspaces

Makerspaces give students all kind of opportunities to create, but more and more libraries are letting kids learn through what they can break. "Breakerspaces" stock up on old electronics for kids to take apart (safely!) and put back together again, finding out what makes them tick along the way. For a complete breakdown on Breakerspaces, check out School Library Journal!

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Tools for a 21-Century Library

Tools for a 21-Century Library

Edutopia's vision of a 21-century classroom has all the building blocks of our favorite libraries: flexible learning/reading zones, accessible supplies, and of course, a makerspace, fully stocked and ready to spark inspiration. Modern learning spaces like these might seem expensive or impossible, but Edutopia breaks the daunting task of renovation down into easy, practical steps to fit any schedule or budget. Once educators start thinking outside the box, redesigns can do more than just spruce up a space. They can foster a fresh community of learners. Get started today at Edutopia!

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Bring Outdoor Fun Inside with this Terrarium Tutorial

Bring Outdoor Fun Inside with this Terrarium Tutorial

Around springtime, there's so much to discover outside. Flowers are blooming. Animals are coming out of hibernation. And it never stops raining. For pond-dwellers like Stinky Cecil, the wet season turns marsh life upside down, but for the rest of us non-amphibians, it just means a lot of time stuck inside. Rain or shine, terrariums are the perfect way to bring some of that outdoor magic into the classroom. Check out FlinnScientific's quick tutorial to get started!

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Anne Shirley, Pippi Longstocking, and Other Would-Be Famous Friends

Anne Shirley, Pippi Longstocking, and Other Would-Be Famous Friends

From Calvin and Hobbes to Phoebe and Marigold, children's literature is filled with a lot of famous friendships. The book experts at New York Public Library imagined what it'd be like if their favorite literary pals could step out of their books and hang out with each other. Just imagine how much trouble Pippi Longstocking could get into with equally plucky Anne of Green Gables! For more kindred characters, check out the New York Public Library's blog.

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